PHARMACY

GSK to buy up research and development company

BY Alaric DeArment

LONDON — GlaxoSmithKline is acquiring the remainder of a privately owned research and development company, GSK said Tuesday.

The British drug maker announced that it would buy the shares of Cellzome it doesn’t already own for $99 million. Cellzome has labs in the United Kingdom and Germany, and will become part of GSK’s research and development organization. The company, of which GSK currently owns 19.98%, develops technologies for profiling compounds in cells and patient samples.

"The acquisition of Cellzome adds significantly to our scientific capabilities and capacity to characterize drug targets, and provides the opportunity to further enhance GSK’s ability to bring medicines to patients in a more effective manner," GSK SVP platform and technology science John Baldoni said.

 


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PHARMACY

AstraZeneca CEO David Brennan to step down

BY Alaric DeArment

LONDON — The head of drug maker AstraZeneca will retire next month, the company said.

The Anglo-Swedish drug manufacturer announced the planned retirement of CEO and board member David Brennan, effective June 1.

Executive director and CFO Simon Lowth will act as interim CEO following Brennan’s departure, until a new CEO can be found, while VP group finance Julie Brown will become interim CFO.

"After more than six years as chief executive officer of this great company, I have decided that now is the right time to step down and allow a new leader to take the reins," Brennan said. "The board’s decision to appoint Simon Lowth as interim chief executive officer has my full support, and I am confident that AstraZeneca will continue to have a positive impact on the lives of patients around the world and, by doing so, will deliver real value to our shareholders."

In addition, Leif Johansson will succeed Louis Schweitzer as nonexecutive chairman starting June 1, three months earlier than previously announced, and has become chairman of the nomination and governance committee.


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Melanoma campaign enlists former football coach as spokesman

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A former football coach is joining an effort to educate men about the risks of a deadly form of skin cancer.

Former National Football League Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher will work with Melanoma Exposed, an educational campaign run by the Melanoma International Foundation, Melanoma Research Alliance, Melanoma Research Foundation and the Skin Cancer Foundation, with sponsorship from drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb, the organizations announced Tuesday.

"My family learned first hand that melanoma is not an opponent to be underestimated," Cowher said. "My philosophy is that every person needs to have a proactive approach to protect against melanoma. The strategy is simple: Get screened, protect yourself and your family, know your risk factors, such as family history and number of moles and, most importantly, tell everyone you know to do the same."

According to a new survey, while men are almost twice as likely to die from melanoma as women, only 9% of men consider it a health risk. Meanwhile, the survey found only 10% of Americans are concerned about it, compared with the 12% who are concerned with wrinkles and hair loss, and 52% fail to identify multiple moles as an important risk factor for melanoma, with men significantly less likely to recognize it as a risk factor. The survey, conducted by custom research agency TNS, included 2,500 adults of various ages in the United States.

The Melanoma Exposed campaign will start at the Miami Dolphins’ Sun Life Stadium in mid-June with free screenings and at season events with the Dolphins, the New York Giants, the Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens.


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